Point Counterpoint: Best undefeated NCAA team

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) breaks a tackle by Rutgers defensive back Anthony Cioffi (31) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP).

With the season finally taking shape, it’s time to discuss just who really is the best undefeated team in America. Obviously that eliminates perhaps the best team in the country, Alabama, but that leaves six teams to take into account: No. 1 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 6 Baylor, No. 9 Iowa, No. 14 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Houston. The six teams have roughly three games each left to close out a perfect regular season. It’s going to be a fascinating end to the college football season as the race to the playoff is more than underway.

Elan: The defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes are still, to me, the overwhelming favorites to finish the year undefeated. It all starts and ends with their depth at the quarterback position. Coach Urban Meyer awarded the job to the championship game starter Cardale Jones. Through the first seven weeks, Jones played relatively well, but below the standard he showed at the end of 2014. Sensing a shift, Meyer gave the job to J.T. Barrett. Now, most teams are lucky to have one quality quarterback. The Buckeyes have two. Barrett’s start against Rutgers was nearly perfect. He accounted for over 330 yards of total offense, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. However, later that week, Barrett was pulled over and cited for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by Columbus police. He was suspended for one game. Usually, this would cause a massive QB controversy, as Meyer was now forced to give Jones the job he lost back. Well, the Buckeyes did not miss a beat.

Connor: After being snubbed from the College Football Playoffs last year, the Baylor University Bears are playing like the best-undefeated team in the nation. No, I didn’t forget about Clemson and Ohio State. Soon enough, Clemson will Clemson. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. One of these Saturdays, Dabo Swinney will not be dancing. I expect they will lose to South Carolina in their last regular season game or in the ACC Championship a week later.

Elan: How can you be confident in Clemson? It’s Clemson. They’re going to pull a classic choke job any week now. Frankly, I was shocked they got by Florida State. That game had all the makings of a Clemson collapse. Their clash with South Carolina at the end of the season is looming, not to mention the ACC championship game. Clemson is sitting pretty right now. But anyone that’s paid attention to college football for the last decade knows this for a fact. The Clemson Tigers are frauds.

Connor: As for Ohio State, their cupcake schedule has been highlighted by close calls at both Indiana and Northern Illinois. Their game against Michigan State will open lots of eyes around the country. So that leaves us with the Baylor Bears. Baylor is averaging 57 points per game and blowing out every opponent they play. Many ruled out the Bears after loss of quarterback Seth Russell to a season-ending neck injury. So what did true freshman Jarrett Stidham do in his first career start? He threw for 419 yards and scored four touchdowns. The biggest question mark for this team is their strength of schedule. It won’t be a question mark for long. The Bears close out the season with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas. If Baylor can win out, there is no question about who the number one team is.


Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. 

Elan-Paolo DeCarlo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at elan-paolo.decarlo@uconn.edu. He tweets @ElanDeCarlo.